As tent cities grow, city of Montreal, advocates working on winter plan to help shelter homeless

HOMELESS

The city of Montreal is looking at more ways to help shelter the homeless as the colder weather settles in and more tent cities are cropping up. 

The city is even considering deals with some of the near empty hotels to help shelter some of them.

Sam Watts, executive director of the Welcome Hall Mission, said putting up some of the homeless in hotels is not a bad idea but...

"You need more than an idea. You actually need a plan because if you don't have a really good plan, that can really go south in a hurry," said Watts.

"We've seen instances in other cities like Vancouver where they requisition a hotel and it becomes kind of a shooting gallery or it becomes badly managed."

Watts said they would need a solid plan and funding.

"And you need an exit plan. These are winter measures we're putting in place so now what happens in March?" said Watts.

Watts said they will probably need an extra 300-400 extra beds for the winter.

The city of Montreal had given the homeless people living in tents on Notre Dame Street in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve until the end of August to clear out.

That didn't happen and there are even more tents there now.

A spokesman tells CJAD 800 it's still working with community groups and public health on emergency shelters and to get the people living in tent cities to more appropriate resources.

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